Time‐lapse geophysical assessment of agricultural practices on soil moisture dynamics

Geophysical surveys are now commonly used in agriculture for mapping applications. High‐throughput collection of geophysical properties such as electrical conductivity (inverse of resistivity) can be used as a proxy for soil properties of interest (e.g., moisture, texture, salinity). Most applications only rely on a single geophysical survey at a given time. However, time‐lapse geophysical surveys have greater capabilities to characterize the dynamics of the system, which is the focus of this work. Assessing the impact of agricultural practices through the growth season can reveal important information for the crop production. In this work, we demonstrate the use of time‐lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and electromagnetic induction (EMI) surveys through a series of three case studies illustrating common agricultural practices (cover crops, compaction with irrigation, and tillage with N fertilization). In the first case study, time‐lapse EMI reveals the initial effect of cover crops on soil drying and the absence of effect on the subsequent main crop. In the second case study, compaction leading to a shallower drying depth for potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) was imaged by time‐lapse ERT. In the third case study, larger changes in electrical conductivity over time were observed in conventional tillage compared with direct drill using time‐lapse EMI. In addition, different N application rates had a significant effect on the yield and leaf area index but only ephemeral effects on the dynamics of electrical conductivity, mainly after the first application. Overall, time‐lapse geophysical surveys show great potential for monitoring the impact of different agricultural practices that can influence crop yield.

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  • Name: Blanchy, Guillaume, Type: Corresponding Author,
  • Name: Watts, Chris. W., Type: Author,
  • Name: Richards, Jake, Type: Author,
  • Name: Bussell, Jennifer, Type: Author,
  • Name: Huntenburg, Katharina, Type: Author,
  • Name: Sparkes, Debbie L., Type: Author,
  • Name: Stalham, Mark, Type: Author,
  • Name: Hawkesford, Malcolm J., Type: Author,
  • Name: Whalley, W. Richard, Type: Author,
  • Name: Binley, Andrew, Type: Author,
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Article Host Type publisher
Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by-nc-nd
Article Version Type publishedVersion
Citation Report https://scite.ai/reports/10.1002/vzj2.20080
DFW Organisation RRes
DFW Work Package 1
DOI 10.1002/vzj2.20080
Date Last Updated 2021-03-04T13:59:38.495023
Evidence oa journal (via doaj)
Funder Code(s) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: BB/J004286/1, BB/P016855/1, BBS/E/C/00I0330. AHDB‐Lancaster: 110002102, 110002104
Journal Is Open Access true
Open Access Status gold
PDF URL https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1002/vzj2.20080
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1002/vzj2.20080